Leclerc on Ferrari "trust" - "we disagree sometimes"

Charles Leclerc has suggested honesty is the best policy with regards to his Ferrari team moving forward as he looks to take them back to the front of the Formula 1 grid.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Preparation
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11,…

After some tough times over the course of the last two seasons with regards to Mattia Binotto, Ferrari’s strategy team and their often-questionable decision making, Leclerc told the Guardian: “We disagree sometimes as we are very honest with one another.”

“I say to the team what I think and the team say what they think. This is the way to move forward. I don’t think the trust has ever been an issue. We have a very different vision inside the car than what the team has on the pit wall, so these things can happen.”

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It paints an incredibly mature and trusting take of the Monegasque considering his understandable frustration following the British Grand Prix this time last year. Leclerc, who had been fighting Max Verstappen for the title, was left a sitting duck on old tyres by his team as he quickly lost the lead following a safety car restart.

“There is this legend that some people have infinite confidence,” he went on to say. “But there are moments that are difficult for everybody and you go through a period where you are asking yourself questions. I have always had the approach where I am asking myself: ‘Is this the right approach, Charles?’”

“I am very self-critical when I make a mistake but as part of a team I try to be very objective and very straight with them. I try to push everybody to have the same approach, to be self-critical and try to learn from it and improve.”

Since then, the team has changed its personnel from the very top, with Binotto replaced by Fred Vasseur as Team Principal going into the 2023 season. With the difficulties of last year behind him, he holds a desire to bring the Scuderia back to glory: “I am the first one who wants to be in a title fight.”

“But it’s not frustrating, it motivates me a lot. I am even more motivated to change that, to bring Ferrari back to where it deserves to be, which is consistently on top. Once we get there I am sure it will be a very, very special moment.”

While 2022 saw Leclerc’s best chance yet to take the Italian team to the promised land, this year has seen them only good enough to battle for second in terms of pace behind Red Bull, along with the likes of Mercedes, Aston Martin and more recently McLaren. 

As they head into the Hungarian Grand Prix, they will be looking to greatly improve on their Silverstone result that saw Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz finish P9 and P10 respectively: “This year is far away from where we expected it to be but being a Ferrari driver is something very special.”

“I don’t feel the outside pressure, but I am putting myself under a lot of pressure in order to succeed, the responsibility of bringing Ferrari back to the top.”

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